Monday, March 19, 2012


60 and other significant numbers!

I read in the Ottawa Citizen yesterday that Kathryn Stockett's novel was rejected 60 times! You know her book -- it's called The Help and besides being a bestseller, it's also an award-winning movie!

Just goes to show you what persistence can produce!

But she's not the only one. I forget what the rejection numbers are for Sue Grafton and John Grisham when they were starting their novel writing careers, but they, too are mind-boggling. And then there was Lindsey Davis. It's reported she was told that a historical mystery would never make it. Guess what -- she's published 23 of them and has a loyal and large fan base.

I think these numbers are truly heartening and so much more persuasive than being told, 'don't give up'; 'have an envelope and query letter ready to go as soon as the previous rejection comes in'; and other well-intentioned advice. It's all true!

The only guarantee with writing is that you'll be doing something you either feel you have to do or that you enjoy doing, or both. Not everyone is a J.K. Rowling but then again, I could never write what she wrote.

Even though the publishing world is shrinking, there are still publishers out there who need books; hopefully they also need new blood. So even if you're "sweating blood" as someone so aptly put it on Facebook last week, just keep on doing it. And be sure to get a transfusion when needed -- chocolates are great for that!

I'm trying to remember some other names. Can you add some authors to this list of rejected but successful?

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
A Killer Read coming April, 2012
from Berkley Prime Crime


  1. C.S. Lewis, Margaret Mitchell, Louis L'Amour, Catherine Astolfo...OK, maybe that last one is not so famous (yet). Thanks for this post, Linda, it's very inspiring!

  2. L.M.Montgomery with a little book called Anne of Green Gables; J.K.Rowling was rejected a mere 12 times; Chicken Soup book 134 times; James Patterson 12 times; first Twilight book rejected by 14 agents; Stephen King; Ernest Hemingway; Dr. Seuss; John Grisham...............really a who's who of major authors. Good company to be in, for sure.